Genomic tools to assist breeding for drought tolerance.
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Water deficit or drought stress is a major limitation to crop production globally. Plant breeders have used a wide range of technologies to successfully breed varieties that perform well under the growth conditions for their target environments but they are always seeking new opportunities to enhance rates of genetic gain. Under drought, yield is determined by the integration of variable levels of water deficit across the developmental life of the crop. Genomics technologies were seen as a path to understand the genetic and environmental complexity of drought stress. To be relevant to breeding programs, genomic studies must consider the nature of drought stress in the target environment and use plant material and phenotyping techniques that relate to field conditions.
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